I would say yes. We take all kinds of things on faith because we have to. Things that seem obvious but are essentially unprovable. Just to take one example, I believe in a world external to my mind, populated by real people, not figments of my imagination. I can't prove it, but I take it on faith. ''

Another thing I take on faith is that I can trust causality to be regular. To be sure, there are occasions when causality seems to fail, but I assume that there are explanations vindicating causality. If I assume causality is really irregular, then there's no reason to be logical, is there?

The difference between that kind of faith is that it doesn't form the basis for baseless toxic activities. It doesn't lead me to discriminate against or kill people who don't share my beliefs. In fact, it has no real consequences at all other than to help me live day-to-day.

Believing on faith that there is an all knowing, all powerful, very judgmental, king-like being looming above everything can be used to discriminate falsely between good and bad people with punishments ranging from shunning to eternal hellfire.

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My graduate course on philosophy of science really opened my eyes as to how science works. The attendance of some science graduate students auditing the course showed us that their eyes were opened as much as ours. Until then, even though they were proficient in scientific method, they had never really scrutinized it, and certainly never realized it rested on unexamined principles. 

One has to start somewhere, and often that means by making some basic assumptions which seem reasonable. After that, you have to take a lot on faith. You can't get off the dime in science without accepting some philosophical (metaphysical) presuppositions. After that, your successes tend to keep you going and provide practical evidence that the faith you placed in those assumptions was justified. And yet, that isn't really proof. Proof has a finality and an unassailability to it that the mere accumulation of evidence does not.

I don't have a real issue with the Matrix sort of scenario in the sense that it is a world within a world. This plane of existence would be a subset within the realm of reality and as such is still a part of reality. If there is a level of reality above this, it doesn't necessarily challenge my perception of this reality apart from the fact that it is a subset. 

My experience of this word is already relativistic. Adding an extra degree of relativism at a highly abstract level doesn't overly concern me. As I mentioned earlier, I need to have some degree of faith as an expedient for navigating life. I have faith in the accuracy of my perceptions and that constants will remain constant if for no other reason than in order to act with intention I need to be able to make predictions with reasonable confidence. Philosophically, however, I don't have the same requirement. I accept that my perceptions are far from perfect.

First, choose a dictionary and trust its definition.

NOAD's (New Oxford American's) first definition is complete trust or confidence in someone or something. (Its remaining definitions refer to religion so I will ignore them.)

I will try another dictionary; NOAD's first definition persuades me that faith is dangerous and/or foolish.

And yet, do we not have complete trust and confidence in many matters? That if I put water over an intense flame it will heat my soup pretty quickly. Seriously, do you put some soup in a pot, turn on the heat, and actually wonder if this will heat up your soup?

I just assume that things are stable, till they are not, then I test my expectations. Most of the time things are running smoothly, no worries, but there are the outlyers that can cause me to pause and revisit my understanding of how things 'work'. I just figure I am almost always in catchup mode with reality.

So, you have faith in things as they are until something were to cast doubt on that faith.

Yes generally, that seems to be about it. After 58 years, I seem to have a rather good working knowledge of things and people, but some details elude me. I do have the say that 'faith' is not quite the right term to apply. I think the term 'confidence' might be closer, but maybe I am mincing words?   

No, I was thinking 'confidence' too, when I was reading.  The deciding factor is the differentiation between "Trust, Faith and Belief".  We use the terms interchangeably quite often, so its quite a grey area.  If there was no such thing as "Trust" there would be no such word as "Promise".

The Faith that religion carries, is in something that cannot be experiences by the five senses, at any time.  All the other trusts, beliefs, etc. become proven or are provable using our five senses, at some stage.

The OP mixes the two, for the purpose of debate.  It is an interesting exercise, but I am not sure whether its an exercise in semantics or more than that.  The kind of 'blind faith' that belongs to religion, with absolutely zero evidence, and quite a lot of contradicting elements is not really replicable outside of a religious or 'spiritual' interpretation.

We take some things on faith because there's no real alternative. There is no necessity to the faith the religious place in God.

I had a rather funny idea once about epistomology. Yah another big word, that I often mis-spell. There seems to be scaling or gage that one might use in reference to questions of knowledge/knowing: Truth, Knowledge, Belief.

For Truth: we might have actual apriori confidence in an assertion, such as a clear proof, or iron clad evidence. The statement '1 + 1= 2', is of this variety. Sadly, if you include vectors, '1 + 1= 2' would be 0 to 2, depending on how the vectors are added. Our reference frame for an assertion is important.

For Knowledge: we might have what appears to be very good evidence for an assertion, state of the world, or pattern of behaviors, but might be mostly based on some probability of being true given experience/observation. Generalizations concerning quantum mechanics, might of this variety.

For Belief: assertions are made that appear as Truth or Knowledge claims, but might not offer a means to proof or direct evidence. I see these as mostly the 'strings of letters, or words, that say something, but on closer investigation, seem untestable, improbable, or non-sensicle'. Some one might assert that '16 angels can dance on the head of a pin', but it is sadly very unlikely that we will be able to make such a measurement. Interviewing people for their opinion, on the 'number of angels that can dance on the head of a pin', seems likely to be even less insightful, but humor can spring from such an experiment.




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